Sapa Valley Northern Vietnam, stunning scenery, vibrant culture, and unique trekking opportunities

Sapa Fansipan Northen Vietnam

 When planning your Sapa Vietnam trekking tour, there are several things to consider. First, decide on the length of your trek and the difficulty level that suits you. Next, choose the best time to visit based on weather conditions and availability of accommodations. It’s also important to research and book accommodations in advance, whether it’s a hotel or a homestay with local families.

Additionally, make sure to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the altitude and terrain. Finally, plan transportation to Sapa and within the region, whether it’s by bus or private car.

Fansipan, located in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, is the highest peak in Indochina at 3,143 meters. Trekking to the summit of Fansipan is a challenging adventure that attracts many visitors to Sapa Vietnam. The trek takes around 2-3 days, depending on the route chosen and fitness level. Along the way, trekkers will encounter diverse landscapes ranging from lush forests to rocky terrain and can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Accommodation options include hotels, homestays, and camping.

When planning your trip to Sapa, Vietnam, it’s important to consider the various accommodation options available. If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience, consider staying in a homestay with a local family. This will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine. For those who prefer more traditional accommodation, there are several hotels and guesthouses located throughout the town.

Additionally, if you’re embarking on a trekking tour of Fansipan Mountain, there are camping options available along the trail. No matter what your preference may be, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from for your Sapa adventure.

Fansipan is the highest mountain in Vietnam, standing at 3,143 meters above sea level. Trekking to the summit of Fansipan is a popular activity for adventurous travelers visiting Sapa. However, the high altitude can cause altitude sickness and other health issues if not properly prepared.

Sapa, Vietnam is a popular destination for trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers. To fully enjoy the scenic beauty of the place, it is important to choose the right mode of transportation. The most common options include buses, motorbikes, taxis, and private cars. Buses are the cheapest option but may not be as comfortable as private cars or taxis. Motorbikes are ideal for those who want to explore the area on their own but require experience in driving on mountainous terrain.

Locally known as the “town of clouds”, Sapa is a charming treasure trove of Northwest Vietnam. At a glimpse of an eye, it effortlessly mesmerizes travelers by the beauty of iconic cascading terraced rice fields, lush valleys and emerald mountains lying side by side. Endowed by nature, it’s no wonder that Sapa has become one of the most alluring destinations in the country.

What makes Sapa even more special is the cultural richness of local ethnic minorities, boasting through the numerous customs and beliefs. Set amidst the idyllic rugged valleys are the tiny hill tribe villages, home to Hmong, Dzao, and Tay groups, who have been settling down here for hundreds of years while still being able to preserve their cultures and traditions. Enjoying local life with colorful ethnic costumes, typical dances, and songs performed by people of ethnic groups would be a memorable experience lingering in your mind during and long after your trip.

Best time to visit

At an altitude of 1.560 meters above sea level, Sapa features a sub-temperate climate all around the year. The town has 4 distinctive seasons with an average temperature of 15.4°C.

The ideal occasion to discover this mountainous hub is spring lasting from March to May when the wildflowers bloom at full brightness. Spring is also the time hill tribes showcase their unique culture with a dozen festivals. Coming to Sapa during April, you also have a rare chance to experience 4 different seasons of Vietnam within one day.

From September to November, when the scorching hot summer has gone away, Sapa turns into a little paradise for photo-hunting and trailing. The best time to take great photos of the yellow rice terraces in Sapa is September. Occasionally, thick white snow is recorded in Sapa in winter (December to February), giving adventurous travelers a rare chance to admire snow-capped mountains. It’s a one-of-a-life-time experience in a tropical climax country like Vietnam.

Major Attractions – Best Tours – Best Things to do

Fansipan Mountain

Setting on top highlight destinations in the Sapa travel guide for adventurous travelers, Fansipan Mount is not only the highest peak in all of Vietnam but also the “roof of Indochina Peninsula”. The actual trek boats breath-taking a panoramic view of majestic mountains, lush valleys, and dense forests, challenging both amateur and professional hikers. You can do sapa trekking to the mountain too or by cable car from the heart of Sa pa

Muong Hoa Valley

Nestle in a range of marvelous mountains, the rustic and peaceful valley is known for its romantic beauty, unspoiled nature, the cultural richness of local ethnic minority, and especially an ancient rock ground, recognized as unique heritage of the ancient Vietnamese with hundreds of carvings scattering on the meadows and the cascading terraced fields of the ethnic minority.

Bac Ha Market

About 100 km away from Sapa, Bac Ha is the biggest ethnic market in the North-Western region of Vietnam. Alluring thousands of ethnic people from the nearby hill tribes, this is a great place for indigenous people to meet and boast their traditional and colorful ethnic costumes, giving travelers an ideal opportunity to discover the rich cultural diversity of Sapa.

Sapa Love Market

Sapa Love Market is a cultural beauty and unique experience no visitor should miss out in Sapa. Every Saturday evening, the town is always bustling by the charming heart of the indigenous boys, the enchanting dances of the girls dressing colorful costumes. More than a renowned place where young ethnic people come to find their partners for marriage.

Sapa Love Market is also a great base for people to retain cultural activities, exchange goods, as well as gather with friends.

Cave of Fairies

The pristine and rustic beauty of the Cave of Fairies enchants thousands of travelers from the very first glimpse of an eye. The emerald waters of the Chay river surrounded by high cliffs turns this limestone cave into a heavenly corner on earth with charming scenery. Cave of Fairies looks like something straight out of a Grimms’ fairy tale.

The Heaven Gate

Perching on the peak of Tram Ton pass on the Hoang Lien Son mountain range is the Heaven Gate. About 18 kilometers to the north of Sapa, it boasts a great view looking over the Sapa valley between Fansipan, the roof of Indochina Peninsula. As its name reveals, this destination brings a little feeling of heaven with a sublime scenery featuring majestic mountains and extreme abyss. Setting foot on Heaven Gate to grasp the beautiful scenery of the winding pass roads below will be an unforgettable memory for newcomers to Sapa.

Cat Cat Village

With typical wooden houses, flowing streams, elaborate brocades, and hospitable ethnic people, the enchanting Cat Cat is the most beautiful ancient village in Sapa. Being the home to the H’mong ethnic group, this little hamlet is where local inhabitants retain the cultivation of flax and cotton with a long-standing tradition of weaving beautiful brocade fabrics. Drop by the village, you can learn about the one-of-a-kind customs, and practices of Hmong through their local life, as well as get an insight into their traditional culture while enjoying the local hospitality.

Where to stay

The misty town of Sapa features a variety of accommodation options, especially for the travelers in the low to mid-range budget, from hostels, hotels to family-run homestays.

It also gives many options for travelers to stay in the luxury hotels. Diverse in styles and budgets, most of the hotels in the local area look out over the valleys with spectacular views of the Hoang Lien Mountains and Fansipan Mount. Depending on your demands, you might choose to stay in a downtown/village accommodation. If convenience is your priority, a downtown hotel would be the best choice. Thanks to its ideal location, Sapa downtown is a convenient base to discover the popular attractions around. It’s also where to find the restaurants and bars. For anyone seeking get-out-of-town experience and eager for something a little more authentic, village accommodation would be the ideal opt. Just 20 minutes ride away, you ’ll find quiet hamlets and humble homestays that embrace a totally different vibe.

Many hotels downtown also provide visa arrangements, train tickets and local Sapa tour packages with an additional fee. The town may be very crowded during the peak season so visitors are recommended to make a reservation. Also, during the weekends, prices can be charged slightly higher due to demands.

How to get there

Due to its distant location in the Northwest mountainous area with no airport nearby, Sapa is only accessible by road or rail.

By train

The great way to get to Sapa from Hanoi is to take the train to Lao Cai, then hop on an hour-long bus or a taxi to the town. The journey takes around 8 hours, offering the picturesque views of the mountainscapes alongside. Vietnam Railways operates 2 daily express trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai and vice versa, departing at 9:35 and 10:00 PM in Gia Lam Station, Hanoi. The train only stops at major stations, so the trip is expected to be smooth and uninterrupted.

By bus

Thanks to the new expressway Hanoi – Lao Cao, traveling to Sapa from the capital city of Hanoi only takes 5 hours by shuttle bus. The ticket price varies from 220,000 VND – 450,0000 VND (about 10-20 USD). As it’s a non-stop ride coming straight to the town, visitors can save a lot of time for transferring to the town.

By motorbike/scooter

Another way to get to Sapa is riding a motorbike or scooter. The trip from Hanoi takes about 10 hours. Due to the rugged mountainous terrain, the roads may offer spectacular views, but it’s not an ideal option for novice riders. Don’t forget that an international driver’s license is required to rent and ride a motorbike in Vietnam. During your trip, the temperature can get low at night so make sure you prepare some warm layers in your luggage.

As a tourism center of the northwest of Vietnam, Sapa today is home to stunning scenery, intoxicating cultural makeup and a diverse range of ethnic minorities. Comprising both natural beauty and culture into just one comprehensive package, Sapa is worth visiting for any natural seekers. It offers an incredible adventure of conquering the Roof of Indochina – Mount Fansipan. Explorations and trekkers will not find abnormal animals and things on the top of Fansipan but a splendid world of misty clouds, ranges of mountains, green paddle fields and a small pagoda for worship.

Sapa valley lies amidst the mountainous region and surrounded by beautiful green terraced rice fields. Take a glimpse of wandering under cool weather in the locality of Sapa town, it can be very comfortable and relaxing. This small town is definitely an absolute treat for every tourist to visit.

Ninh Binh – One of the enormously impressive and diversified tourist destination of many travellers

Tours to Ninh Binh Northern of Vietnam

Ninh Binh Hoa Lu Tam Coc Bai Dinh Trang An Hang Mua Cave

Ninh Binh, a province in northern Vietnam, is often overlooked by tourists, but it’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The area boasts stunning natural beauty with its limestone cliffs and tranquil rice paddies. One of the must-see destinations is Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Tam Coc and Trang An offer scenic boat rides through caves and lush greenery.

Bai Dinh temple complex is also worth a visit for its grandeur and religious significance. Ninh Binh is a perfect destination for those seeking peace and serenity amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Hoa Lu is an ancient capital of Vietnam located in Ninh Binh province. It was the political and cultural center of the country during the Dinh and Le dynasties, from 968 to 1010 AD. The area is known for its many historical relics such as temples, pagodas and imperial tombs. The most famous ones are the temples dedicated to King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh.

Visitors can explore these ancient structures while admiring the beautiful natural surroundings of Hoa Lu, including mountains, caves and rivers.

Tam Coc, also known as the “Halong Bay on Land,” is a must-visit destination in Ninh Binh. It is a scenic area filled with limestone cliffs and lush greenery, located along the Ngo Dong River. Visitors can take a boat ride through the cave-like formations and enjoy the stunning scenery. The area also has several temples and pagodas to explore, such as Thai Vi Temple and Bich Dong Pagoda.

Tam Coc is truly a breathtaking natural wonder that should not be missed during your visit to Ninh Binh.

Bai Dinh is a magnificent pagoda complex located in the Ninh Binh province of Vietnam. It is considered the largest complex of its kind in Southeast Asia, covering an area of over 539 hectares. The complex comprises several temples, shrines, and prayer halls featuring intricate carvings and statues. Visitors can explore the various halls and marvel at the giant Buddha statues that tower over them.

Bai Dinh is also known for its annual festival which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over Vietnam.

Trang An, located in Ninh Binh province of Vietnam, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features an impressive landscape of towering limestone mountains and tranquil waterways. The area is known for its unique karst formations that have been eroded over centuries to form caves, grottoes and valleys. Visitors can take a boat ride through the winding rivers and explore the ancient temples and pagodas that dot the landscape.

Trang An is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.

Exploring the beauty of Ninh Binh by boat and bike is an unforgettable experience. The region’s natural wonders, including Hoa Lu, Tam Coc, Bai Dinh, and Trang An, are best explored on two wheels or by boat. Visitors can cycle through lush green paddy fields and quaint villages to reach ancient temples and pagodas. The peaceful waterways offer a unique perspective of towering limestone cliffs that rise out of the water like sentinels.

 Ninh Binh – One of the enormously impressive and diversified tourist destination of many foreign travellers. Owning magnificent and stunning views; ideal and convenient spot together with generous hospitality.

Ninh Binh has many forms of Tours. It offers both group tour and private tour, which is up to you.

Why go to Ninh Binh? Is Ninh Binh worth visiting?

With a large number of limestone mountains rise and surround meandering rivers, vast green or yellow rice fields depending on the season. And that is the reason why we call Ninh Binh is Ha Long Bay on land

If the breathtaking scenery were not enough to persuade you to visit Ninh Binhh, you should feel true beauty of Ninh Binh with a completely different experience.

In contrast to the elegance and splendor of Hanoi, Ninh Binh is where you’re going to do something completely different from what you have done in Hanoi.

The living in countryside is more quiet and purer. It is absolutely an ideal trip for anyone who wants to get away from the noise of the city and live a carefree life in a fancy house in a strange place.

If you’re a cultural explorer, there’s plenty of architecture here to learn about learning about Vietnam’s historical and cultural timeline. You will also have the opportunity to explore Vietnam’s capital in the 11th century in the ancient capital Hoa Lu.

You can also book a Ninh Binh Tours from Hanoi by bus or private car if you are staying in Hanoi because these days there are many creditable travel agents to choose, in which Hanoi Explore Travel is ranked among Top 5 of the Best Tour Operator for Ninh Binh Tour on Tripadvisor.

Particularly, over 1000 travellers highly appreciate its quality, service and price (95% Excellent Review).

Below are Top Best Selling Ninh Binh Tour with the most competitive price and best quality we would like to introduce to you

Things to know before you go – Ninh Binh Tours

  • Ninh Binh is a favorite place for nature lovers and photographers and family’s holiday
  • Don’t forget to bring hat, sunscreen or a light jacket, plenty of water
  • Should bring a little Vietnamese cash to purchase need necessities like food and clothing,… or tips for tour guides because there are not many ATMs and currency exchange counters around area
  • The most popular is one day tour, or someone wants to spend more time in Ninh Binh, they can choose 2 days or 3 days for their journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. For a one day tour, it usually lasts about 12 hours. There are many options for Ninh Binh One Day Tour From Hanoi

How to get to Ninh Binh from Hanoi

There are several ways to transfer from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. You can go by train, by shuttle bus or book Ninh Binh Tours were organized

Motorbike

If you go by motorcycle to get to Ninh Binh from Ha Noi, you just need to follow straight Giai Phong street through Phu Ly city of Hanam province.

The distance from Hanoi to Ninh Binh by motorcycle is around 96 km, so please drive carefully!

Train

Ninh Binh’s train station is just behind the bus station across the Van River from the post office. At least five trains a day stop en route to Hanoi and at least four stop heading south, taking around 3 hours.

Seats to Hanoi range from 150,000 to 255,000VND. Fares vary depending on the class of train and seating.

Bus

There are quite many buses running Hanoi – Ninh Binh route

Buses take around 1.5 to 2 hours to/from Hanoi, depending on the type of bus and the route it takes. Allow 2 hours to be safe.

From Hanoi, buses leave from Giap Bat (southern) bus station, although some go to My Dinh. Fares to Hanoi range from 80,000 to 100,000VND.

Private Car

You follow Phap Van – Cau Gie highway, continue following Cau Gie – Ninh Binh highway. You just need to go through two highways, you will get to Ninh Binh very soon.

It is going to take you over 1 hour since the distance is only 80km. Apart from this, you can also follow Highway 1 that parallels the below highway; nevertheless, this way is quite rough and uneven to travel

Top 35 Ninh Binh Tours & Activities to Experience 

Best Sugguestion Ninh Binh Day Trip

The first one we could not forget to mention is Ninh Binh Day trip, which is particularly suitable for travellers who don’t have much time doing sightseeing.

However, please don’t worry because there are also many places for you to admire sceneries.

First, you need to choose your departure place. If you stay in Hanoi, you can go for the tour starting at 8:00 am and ending at the Old Quarter Streets.

Additionally, choosing a tour starting off right at Ninh Binh is another option if you are staying there. The following are some highly recommended tours of Ninh Binh Day Trip

Hoa Lu Tam Coc Full Day Trip

  • It gives you the chance to visit two famous places of Ninh Binh. The first one is Hoa Lu – the first capital of Vietnam’s feudalism where it left a range of ancient architectures, pagodas and other historical heritages king temple
  • Besides, you can also have the opportunity to experience peaceful feeling when taking a boat ride on Ngo Dong river to visit Tam Coc and 3 well-known caves: Ca, Hai and Ba Caves.
  • Then you continue the adventure with riding a bicycle through rice fields and picturesque villages. This tour departs at 8:00 am and ends at 6:30 pm in Hanoi.
  • The price of the tour include two-way tickets, sightseeing fee, one bottle of mineral water, buffet for lunch, tourguides with foreign certificate, Tam Coc boat ticket and bicycle riding

Trang An Bai Dinh Full Day Tour

Combination of spiritual travel and natural exploration

  • Trang An is a well-known tourist attraction of Ninh Binh and also one of three most beautiful places appearing in Kong Skull Island of the American film director Vogt – Roberts.
  • Visiting this interesting spot, you can find out the village of aboriginals that comes out on the film, admire spectacular views of the karst mountains and the superb clear river when taking a 3-hour Trang An Boat Tour.
  • Additionally, you can also have to chance to observe natural caves of various forms representing cultural and spiritual value with your naked eyes.
  • Bai Dinh is the greatest pagoda of South East Asia with many recognized set of records. Ticket price of Trang An Bai Dinh Tour consists of two-way ticket, buffet lunch, electric car to get to Bai Dinh pagoda, mineral water, Trang An boat ticket and tourguide

Cuc Phuong National Park Full Day Tour

  • Suited to travellers who are into exploring wilderness of nature, trekking, climbing mountains and don’t want to get through places of flocks of travellers.
  • There are two options for you: Group tour, maxium of 16 members and Private Cuc Phuong National Park Day Tour with private cars and tourguide. The price of the tour includes two-way tickets, sightseeing fee, tourguide, lunch and water

Hoa Lu – Trang An – Bai Dinh Full Day

  • In the morning: Visit Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, where you may explore 3 spiritual sites as well as 5 caves, including Toi (Dark) Cave, Sang (Bright) Cave, Seo Cave, Nau Ruou Cave, and more. Additionally, visitors can go to places like Phu Khong Temple, Bao Hieu Pagoda, or Tran Temple,…
  • At lunch: After your morning excursion, stop at a nearby restaurant to savor delicious delicacies for lunch like grilled goat meat, grilled mountainous snails,…
  • In the afternoon: Visit the ancient capital of Hoa Lu for around 30 minutes. Tourists can go to the Kim Ngan pagoda, the Temple of King Dinh and King Le among other places in this area. Then, take your time seeing Bai Dinh Pagoda, which features a 13-story stupa, a corridor with Arhat statues, the Three Periods Hall, the Buddha Dharma Lord Hall, Ngoc Well, and more.

Mua Cave – Tam Coc – Bich Dong Pagoda

  • In the morning: Visit Mua Cave, ascend its 486 stone steps to the top, and take in the panoramic view of Ninh Binh. Continue the trip to Tam Coc (Three Grottoes), where you can explore Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba Grottoes as well as enjoy the beauty along the Ngo Dong river.
  • At lunch: Have lunch at a restaurant/ eatery near Tam Coc and take a rest.
  • In the afternoon: Visit Bich Dong, a well-known temple with its back leaning on a mountain and dubbed “the second nicest grotto in Vietnam”. In Bich Dong, there are both dry and wet caves that provide stunning scenery. The Thung Nham Bird Garden is the final stop on this itinerary and also home to numerous rare bird species.

Ninh Binh Boat Tours

The best way to explore the wild nature of Ninh Binh is taking a boat ride through renowned places like: Tam Coc, Trang An, Thung Nham, Van Long nature reserve.

Not only do we sit on the boat but also we can climb the mountains and ride bicycle around villages.

Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Mua Cave Tour

A perfect combination of a tour for a day.

  • You still can enjoy doing sightseeing of 3 well-known places, explore history and culture of Hoa Lu ancient capital, experience the feeling of sitting on a bamboo boat , go through caves of Tam Coc, trek to the mountain of Mua cave with 500 stairs, which is a great place to have a panoramic view the beautiful city Ninh Binh and take great photos.

Hoa Lu – Trang An – Mua Cave Tour

  • It is the same as the above tour; the only difference is that it is taking a ride boat here is going to last for 3 hours and travellers can explore more caves and more imposing mountains compared to Tam Coc.
  • This tour is suited to touriests who want to have longer time feeling this place and finding more about history of Trang An.
  • Price of 2 mentioned tours are also reasonable, which includes two-way travelling by convenient and opulent Luxury Limousines, professional tourguides, buffet lunch, free entrnace ticket, Mua Cave ticket, Boat trip ticket.
  • In summary, this is a great choice for you to explore many must-visit destinations of Ninh Binh.

Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Bich Dong Pagoda (1 day)

  • At 8 am, from Hanoi, go straight to Ninh Binh. From here to Hoa Lu, you will visit the temples of Dinh and Le. Here strolling, sightseeing, and looking for a restaurant to rest for lunch, remember to enjoy the specialty of burnt goat meat.
  • After resting, continue from Hoa Lu to Hang Dance. Here, having fun taking photos of different styles, then move to the nearby Tam Coc Bich Dong area, take a tour to go all the way to Tam Coc Bich Dong, and come in the afternoon. End of the journey, return to Hanoi.

Ninh Binh Private Tours

Above are forms of Ninh Binh Tours for small groups, maxium of 16 members.

For travellers who can pay more, prefer to spend more and have their own atmosphere for their family, we strongly advise you should choose our Private Ninh Binh Tour since it is perfectly suitable for above 2 tourists and also saves costs.

There are many activities like: Cooking classes, having lunch at restaurants, few tourist, quite atmosphere with the most speical foods. Time and places are fully flexible based on your requirements.

Price of this private tour includes two-way travelling, careful, experienced and enthusiastic dirver, professional tourguide, sighseeing fee, drinks during the meals,mineral water during the trip and Trang An and Tam Coc boat ticket.

You can choose the following tours: PrivateTam Coc Mua Cave Tour, Hoa Lu Trang An Mua Cave Private Tour… for your trip

Ninh Binh 2 Days 1 Night Tour

Ninh Binh is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam, It just take 2 hours from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, it is enough time for you to spend 1 or 2 days in Ninh Binh.

You should spend all day exploring 10th-century temples, cycling across the field, sailing on the Ngo Dong River and exploring mysterious caves. The towering limestone mountains surround Tam Coc in its own little world.

Ninh Binh, which are called natural staircases to heaven, are favorite destinations of tourists such as: nature lovers, photographers, cultural and historical lovers.

We understand that you may be planning your 2 days in Ninh Binh in confusion because of the limited understanding about the city.

For tourists who prefer to spend much time on exploring almost well-known places of Ninh Binh, this is the best choice.

Frist day of your trip, some recommended places to visit: Hoa Lu Tam Coc, Trang An Bai Dinh, or Cuc Phuong National Park…

After the first day, you can have the chance to stay at the best homestay, bungalow, hotel and resor tin Ninh Binh, depending on your requirements we will arrange the most appropriate itinerary for you with the most reasonable price. It can be a group tour or private tour..

Apart from that, if you have more time, we highly recommend you to try Ninh Binh Tour for 3 days 2 nights to explore the whole of Ninh Binh and try renowned, special cuisine.

NEWEST ENTRANCE FEES FOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN NINH BINH

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

  • Address: Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh
  • Entrance fee: 20.000 VND/adult. 10.000 VND/children

Tam Coc 

  • Address: Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: +84 229 3618 339
  • Entrance fee: Sightseeing ticket + Boat Ticket(4 vietnamese person or 2 foreigners ): 195.000 VND/person. With children’s height is below 140cm: 100.000 VND/person. Free for children who aer under 3 years old.

Bich Dong Pagoda

  • Address: Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province.
  • Opening Hour: From 06.30am to 18.00pm
  • Entrance fee: Free

Vuon Chim – Thung Nham Bird Garden

  • Address: Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: 0912.900.887 – 030.2247.491 – 030.3624.097
  • Entrance fee: 100.000 VND/adult. – Free for children who are below 0.8m in height. – Children’s height is from 0.8m to 1.3m: 50.000 VND/person. – Children’s height is above 1.3m: Same price as adult.
  • Boat ticket to visit bird field: 20.000 VND/person
  • Entrance ticket for visiting But cave: 20.000 VND/person

Van Long Nature Reserve

  • Address: Gia Van, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: +84 229. 3868798
  • Entrance fee: – Sightseeing ticket: 20.000 VND/person. Boat ticket: 60.000/boat (2 person)

Mua Cave – Mua Cave Viewpoint

  • Address: Ninh Xuan, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: 0976.245.535
  • Entrance fee: 100.000 VND/person

Trang An Grottoes Complex

  • Phone number: 0303.620084 – 0167.3609238
  • Entrance fee: 200.000 VND/person

Bai Dinh Pagoda

  • Address: Gia Sinh, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: 030. 3470878
  • Ticket Price: Electrical car: 40.000 VND/person for 1 way ticket
  • Visiting Bao Thap: 50.000 VND/person

Phat Diem Stone Cathedral

  • Address: Phat Diem town, Kim Son district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: 030. 3862058
  • Entrance fee: free

Cuc Phuong National Park

  • Address: Cuc Phuong, Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: 030.3848006
  • Entrance fee: 60.000 VND/person, 20.000 VND/student, 10.000 VND/children

Am Tien Cave – Tuyet Tinh Coc

  • Address: Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh
  • Entrance fee: 20.000 VND/person

Thien Ha Cave – Galaxy Cave

  • Address: Son Ha, Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: 030.3871522
  • Entrance fee: 160.000 VND/person

Thach Bich – Thung Nang

  • Address: Dam Khe village, Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh
  • Phone number: 0949.091.235
  • Entrance fee: – Sightseeing: 15.000 VND/adult, 5000 VND/children
  • -Boat ticket: 60.000 VND/boat (4 vietnamese people or 2 foreigners)

Non Nuoc Mountain

  • Entrance fee: 5000 VND/person

Dong Chuong Lake

  • Entrance fee: 30.000 VND/person

What people are saying about Ninh Binh Tours on Tripadvisor

  • Wonderful Ninh binh trip – Rory Booth – Date of experience: June 2019 

” Had a really fun day with our guide Thi which made a perfect day trip from Hanoi. The area was really beautiful and the scenery is totally unique. Thi was really friendly and couldn’t have been more enthusiastic and informative, would definitely recommend.” – Source on Tripadvisor.com

  • Beautiful Tam Coc Tour – ICk88 Manila Philippines – Date of experience: May 2019 

” We had a great time at Tam Coc with our guide, Tom. Tom was very knowledgeable of the history and the details surrounding Tam Coc and Vietnamese culture. She was very patient and took care of our needs. Apparently, the company did not forward the details of the requests we sent via email to Tom, but she was still able to accommodate them and makenthe last-minute adjustments. We took the boat ride firstbto avoid the volume of people in the afternoon, then 3 of our friends rode the bike to Bich Dong while 2 rode the van, then finally we went up the Lying Dragon Mountain which was tiring but worth the views from the top! “

  •  Tam Coc cycling and boat tour – BoardingPass193201 – Date of experience: June 2019 

” What a fantastic tour!! Thi was a brilliant guide, gave us lots of history on Vietnam. The walk to Mua Cave was very hard in the heat but the views at the top are stunning! Thi also helped me up and down as the heat affected me. He’s so kind. 

The lunch was delicious in a beautiful setting. 

The boat ride on the river was very picturesque and relaxing. 

Just be aware there are people in boats half way through who are trying to get you to buy stuff! 

I really enjoyed cycling through the rice fields and seeing the cows!

Overall it was a very memorable experience and hugely recommend going!! ”

  • Perfect Ninh Binh Tours – The-Scone-Man – Date of experience: June 2019

” Our guide, Thao, was fantastic and the tour was well worth it. We loved the serenity of the boat trip through the caves. No motors on the boats….just the sound of water lapping against the boat. I definitely recommend this trip. Thank you Thao for your enthusiasm, care and knowledge. ” 

  • Excellent choice to visit Ninh Binh – NoisyDaisy – Date of experience: May 2019

” This tour was excellent from beginning to end. Mr Linh (Kevin) was such a wonderful guide. He was so friendly, thoughtful, made sure everyone was comfortable and enjoying the experience. Transfer to and from was excellent as well, timely and very comfortable bus. Highly recommend! “

  • Well packed day tour – Keith L – Date of experience: June 2019

” Pick up was 8am in central Hanoi with a couple of hours drive to the first site with a short refreshment stop en route. Hoa Lu was the historical part of the tour. Interesting, small but overshadowed by the rest of the day. Mua Cave is really a hilltop of 500 or so steps. Hard work at times but well worth it to look out over the karst scenery. There is a dragon perched on top of the hill though climbing round the jagged rocks for a good photo angle was a bit perilous. Tam Coc followed. A quiet delightful boat ride paddled by one of the local ladies takes you through more great karst scenery with the only sounds from frogs and birds. The route takes you though three cave tunnels before returning the same way. The boat person was very forthright in asking for a tip and stopped mid stream just to force her message. Quite unnecessary. The last part of the day was a short circular bike ride past the rice fields and through a small village to a welcome drink and fresh fruit. The guide was excellent, clear and proactive.”

  • One day Tam Coc Tour – Louise N – Date of experience: June 2019

” Full day of activities & lots of choice for lunch. Great view from the dragon mountain and lovely one hour boat ride – Thi was very informative and enthusiastic. Highly recommend. ” Source from Tripadvisor.com

  • Day Trip from Hanoi – Ninianhung – Date of experience: June 2019

” I went to the Halongbay Cruise a few days before my day trip to Trang An, Mua Cave, Hoa Lu, and I am still amazed at the beauty of this place. We have an excellent tour guide that gave us plenty of info on Vietnam and kept us well entertain throughout the trip. The hike up Mua Cave was tough during the hot weather but doable, and the view was very much worth it. Although the food quality was a bit disappointing but overall the trip was excellent ” – Source from Tripadvisor.com

With places not too crowded tourists, the schedule of Hanoi Explore Travel will choose some famous place where is not too crowded tourist, you will have many opportunities to discover the natural beauty and the simple life of local people.

Particularly, the cost of a tour is so reasonable price for all customers. You’ll get to experience with a comfortable and convenient transportation service by limousine for a small tour group, up to 15 people. Guides with in-depth knowledge will make your trip special and memorable.

If all this information sounds good, you can book directly on our website. With all the above information, a great journey at Ninh Binh in your hand!

Frequently Asked Questions

We are here for you! If you have any questions about this cruise, please don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 and we will get back to you latest within 2 hours! Got a question about this tour? Reach out to our travel experts.

When is the best time to visit Ninh Binh?

  • The ideal time to visit Ninh Binh is from October through March of the following year. However, the peak travel season is the summer (from April to September).
  • You can travel to Ninh Binh at any time in the year. However, the best time is on the festivals after Tet Holiday in Vietnam.
  • At this time, many people from a lot of regions in Vietnam and even foreign tourists come here to visit, burn the incenses and pray the best lucks for their parents, relatives or friends in the New Year.
  • Moreover, there are some other special occasions to get to Ninh Binh such as on March 6th, 7th and 8th every lunar year, this is an occasion holding Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Traditional Festival to honour the national heroes building Hoa Lu Kingdom and establishing Dai Co Viet State; or from May 7th to May 11th, this is an occasion holding the Vesak Great Festival Day in Ninh Binh

How much time should I spend in Ninh Binh?

You can choose a suitable itinerary based on when or how long you plan to spend in Ninh Binh. According to my personal experience, you should explore Ninh Binh’s beauty on a 2-day, 1-night tour or a 3-day, 2-night tour. You might also select a Day Trip Ninh Binh Tour if you just have a short amount of time to travel.

What should I know before the Ninh Binh tour?

When you take a tour to Ninh Binh, you should bring your identification documents and light travel luggage. Having a little cash on hand is also beneficial because it will make it easier to pay expenses that are not included on the tour program.

In addition, you should prepare necessary personal items such as sunscreen, sandals, sunglasses,… When visiting tombs, pagodas, or temples, avoid wearing revealing clothing, shorts, or short skirts.

How many tour options are available in Ninh Binh?

As one of the most popular tours available currently, tourists can select from a variety of tour itineraries, including: Overnight package tours in 2 days or 3 days; a day trip to Ninh Binh, and more.

Should I pick a hotel or a resort for my accommodation in Ninh Binh?

  • The hotel and resort standards will be included in the Ninh Binh tour itinerary so that you can select from them depending on your requirements and conditions.
  • For resorts, the advantage is the beautiful and opulent space that is in harmony with nature, but it is fairly remote from the city center and the cost is a bit expensive.
  • Hotels in Ninh Binh are typically more affordable than resorts, and despite offering less amenities and recreational areas, they are still luxurious, well-equipped and suitable for many visitors.

What dining selections are offered on the Ninh Binh tour?

There is a wide variety of tasty dishes and well-known Ninh Binh specialties on the tour’s menu. And if you need to dine with a more advanced menu, a vegetarian meal, or other specific requirements, Tourtohalongbay Team will help you make arrangements for meals easily.

What draws visitors to Ninh Binh tours?

A Ninh Binh tour will offer tourists a chance to visit all of its well-known and stunning tourist attractions. Additionally, you can savor delectable dishes from a rich and diversified cuisine as well as engage in a variety of entertaining activities.

What is included in a Ninh Binh tour?

The itinerary will include services such as: food, accommodation, sightseeing car, travel insurance, tour guide, tickets to tourist attractions, mineral water, …

What is not included in the tour?

Extra services and expenses for additional meals, entertainment, or personal expenses are not included in the itinerary.

Where can I find a prestigious and high-quality Ninh Binh Tour?

Tour to Halong Bay Team has organized trips in Ninh Binh for many years and serves millions of foreign visitors annually.

Where can I find a prestigious and high-quality Ninh Binh Tour?

Is it preferable to go independently or to book a package tour from Hanoi?

“Shall I take a tour package from Hanoi or travel to Ninh Binh on my own? ” It’s possible that many of you wonder the same questions. Now let’s consider our comparisons below to see which one is more suitable for you.

Travel independently or book a tour package?

Traveling freely will be more advantageous for young individuals who wish to actively explore and go on trips with their close friends. Additionally, if money is tight, you should decide to travel independently to save money while still having a wonderful time. However, you must research the tourist attractions, routes for sightseeing, and dining options in advance.

And if you’re a self-sufficient traveler, you can decide between renting a private car or taking a motorcycle excursion.

Consider a tour package to Ninh Binh This choice is more practical, safe, and reasonably priced. Due to joining a big group of tourists, you will have a high-quality ride, have the chance to lower the cost of sightseeing tickets, or receive a discount on lodging expenses.

For those visiting Ninh Binh for the first time, it is a fantastic alternative as there is no need to be concerned about getting lost or skipping any noteworthy location.

You will also have a schedule and arrangements made for where to eat, sleep, etc. If there’s any problem, the travel agency or company will assist you right away.

What can you combine a Ninh Binh Tour with?

A Ninh Binh tour easy can be combined with A cruise to Halong Bay or with a trekking in the Mai Chau Valley, Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Sapa trekking

Why should I choose #Tourtohalongbay?

Tour to Halong Bay will be your traveling companion and can offer Ninh Binh Tour Itineraries with flexible and appealing schedules, a delectable and secure food menu, special rates, and a number of promotions. A team of knowledgeable, devoted consultants that are committed to supporting customers is also available. There are also many different payment methods here, which is really convenient for tourists.

Do All Ninh Binh Tours start in Hanoi?

Yes, all our Ninh Binh Tours start from Hanoi and easy to pick up at hanoi old quarter area. But if you will already be in Ninh Binh, we are easy pick up and drop off in Ninh Binh instead in Hanoi

Halong Bay, a stunning natural wonder located in the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, then a Halong Bay tour is a must-do activity. From Hanoi, there are many options for overnight cruises that will take you through the stunning limestone formations and emerald waters of this UNESCO World Heritage site. The first step in planning your tour is to decide on the length of your trip – most tours offer one or two-night stays on board.

Next, consider your budget and choose a cruise that fits within it while also meeting your desired level of comfort and activities. Some cruises offer kayaking, squid fishing, or cooking classes as part of their itinerary. Lastly, make sure to book in advance as these tours can fill up quickly during peak travel seasons.

Halong Bay is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam, known for its stunning natural beauty and serene waters. There are several tour operators offering overnight cruises, but choosing the right one can make all the difference in your experience. When selecting a Halong Bay cruise, consider factors such as itinerary, boat size and style, activities offered, food quality and safety standards.

It’s important to research different cruise options and read reviews from previous travelers to get an idea of what each cruise has to offer. Some cruises may focus more on luxury accommodations and fine dining while others may prioritize adventure activities like kayaking or hiking. Keep in mind that prices can vary greatly depending on the level of luxury and amenities offered.

Exploring the natural wonders of Halong Bay on your tour is an unforgettable experience. As you embark on your cruise, you’ll be surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and emerald waters that are home to a diverse array of marine life. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you sail past hidden caves and grottoes, where you can witness ancient stalactites and stalagmites illuminated by colorful lights.

You can also hop aboard a kayak or bamboo boat to explore the bay’s secluded lagoons and beaches. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning vistas at sunrise and sunset! With its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, Halong Bay is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking adventure and relaxation amidst Vietnam’s stunning landscapes.

A Halong Bay cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that promises to create lasting memories. Choose the right tour: Research and select a reputable company that offers an itinerary that suits your interests and budget. Pack smartly: Bring comfortable clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery. Be prepared for the weather: Halong Bay can be chilly at night, so bring warm clothes or a jacket.

Embrace the local culture: Take part in activities like cooking classes or visiting local villages to learn about Vietnamese culture.

Overview

Ha Long Bay is one of the world’s seven natural wonders recognized by UNESCO. It is a famous tourist destination in Vietnam, located in the West bank of the gulf of Tonkin in the northeast sea area of Vietnam. With thousands of wonderful islands, the miraculous fruits of creation. Ha Long in northern Vietnam tourism has the advantage of beautiful scenery which attracts lots of domestic and international tourists .

How to get to Halong Bay?

Private Transportation

If you use private transportation, it only takes you about 3 hours to travel from Ha Noi Hotel in Old Quarter or Outside Old Quarter to Ha Long via Ha Noi-Hai Phong-Ha Long expressway system. Noting that motorbike is not allowed to use to travel on expressway.

If you want to ride a motorbike from Hanoi to Ha Long, you can follow 1A road to Bac Ninh and turn along highway 18 to travel to Uong Bi – Ha Long

Public Transportation 

By car

To move to Ha Long from Ha Noi, The fastest means of transportation is by car. Recently , many the owner of car service have opened 9-seat Limousine service with spacious and comfortable seats and travelling Ha Noi – Hai Phong expressway route to shorten the travel time to about 3 hours left. It is up to your period time to choose the appropriate way to get to best halong.

By airplane

Cat Bi airport in Hai Phong and Van Don airport in Quang Ninh are 2 airports closest to Ha Long. There are many daily domestic routes from most localities. You can choose the appropriate airport depending on your trip plan. If you want to explore Co to or Quan Lan island, you should choose Van Don airport. Or if you want to combine with exploring Hai Phong and Cat Bi island , Cat Bi is the nearest airport to get there .

Besides , there is a new choice with modern and luxurious seaplanes of Hai Au Airlines from Ha Noi. It is not only helps tourists to save travel times but it also makes you enjoy the nice view from the plane as well as record memorable of Ha Long Bay from above.

When to visit ? The best time to travel to Ha Long ? Day Trips or Bay Overnight

Which seasons we should travel to Ha Long? Which months is the best? Choosing the best time is never easy for tourists due to many factors such as work, weather, budget and even your schedule. Ha Long Bay has different beauty in each season and tourists will have their own ideal time to experience the highlights of Ha Long Bay.

Based on my experience, I will help you find the best time to visit here.

  • Ha Long Bay in Spring 

Spring is the wettest season of the year, with drizzle and fog. Despite the weather is so cold, it is sunny. There are many things in Ha Long in Spring that make visitors be fascinated. You will have a chance to explore Vietnamese culture such as how people prepare for Tet Holiday either at Ha Long market or shopping center in the city, receive lucky money and try to taste lots of the difference traditional dishes.

  • Autumn in Ha Long 

Autumn will be the best time to visit Ha Long Bay because it always has beautiful sunshine, clear blue sky, a little rain, mild climate .

At this time of year, the storm is also less , the number of visitors is also much more reduced, so you will avoid crowded scenes. Autumn’s romantic space is perfect for the ideal trip for a couple or couples during this time such as taking a wedding album on the top deck, then taking a sauna and relaxing on white sand beach.

Yacht is the best choice for those who want to experience in Ha Long. A Autumn’s romantic space is perfect for the Ideal Trip for a couple or couples during this time such as taking a wedding album right on the top deck, then taking a sauna and relaxing on white sand beach.

  • Ha Long during Summer Days and Nights

Summer is the peak season and is also suitable for almost all activities in Ha Long Bay, from water sports to outdoor activities. Many famous destinations like Titop island, Sung Sot Cave or Bai Tho island …

  • Ha Long Bay in Winter 

Even though winter is not the best time to travel to Ha Long Bay, there are many things to do for you to experience here.

Winter in Ha Long, there is no rain, no storm, the air is drier. However , the temperature can drop so low making you unsuitable for enjoying some outdoor activities like swimming

But if you want a quiet place, not crowded, this may be not the best time to go to Ha Long, because this is not the peak travel season for domestic tourists.

What to See for a Day Trip in Halong?

Ha Long has many fun spots and attractions. You can find some travel destinations suggestions you should not miss as below :

  • Thien Cung Grottos

This is one of the most beautiful caves in Ha Long. It is nearly 10 000 m² for wide with extremely complex structure including many levels, many compartments with so high and wide ceilings and walls. Especially in the cave, we can see countless blocks of stalactites and stalagmites with strange shapes everywhere .

  • Dau Go Cave

About 300m from Thien Cung grottos, Dau Go is a large and nice cave with mossy antique style. Due to the wide opening, the humidity in the cave is high and the effect of sunlight can be seen immediately on the diversity of the flora, especially mosses and ferns, woody trees… This is a distinctive feature compared to many other caves in Ha Long Bay.

  • Sung Sot Cave

This cave is located in the heart of the World Heritage Ha Long Bay, on the island of Bo Hon. Inside of Sung Sot cave there are fossil stalactites with extremely rich shapes. Sung Sot Cave is located in the center of many famous tourist sites of Ha Long.

  • Ti Top Island

This is an island having a steep bank, an inclined bank with white flat sand . Tourists can swim or climb to enjoy all views of island. Looking down from above, Ti Top is shaped like a full moon embracing the island’s foot. Beach area is not large but quiet, white sand, pure and blue sea in four seasons.

  • Luon Cave

You can see stalactites buds created for millions of years in many different shapes and sizes. In front of the cave is Con Rua Islet, in the right is Heaven Gate.

  • Me Cung Cave

This cave is located at a height of 25m on Lom Island. Me Cung cave has a complex structure with many levels, many compartments , a niche spreading over the roof of the stone with the length of more than 100 meters, rising to the west and looking down to a small lake called Me Cung

  • Drum Cave and Trinh Nu Cave

Located on the wings of a small mountain in east of the Bo Hon island. These two caves are away 700-800m from each other over a small bay. These two caves not only have lots of stalactites and beautiful views, but also attract tourists because of a very feeling story.

  • Soi Sim island

Soi Sim has area of about 8,7 ha , located in the west of Ha Long Bay, about 700m from Ti Top Island . This island is a primeval forest with plant diversity , including many endemic, valuable and typical species of ecosystem of Ha Long Bay .

  • Cua Van Fishing Village

At Cua Van fishing village, visitors can not only immerse themselves in a quiet and peaceful space, but also learn about the cultural life of fishermen, learn how to row boats, spread fishing nets, drop fishing rods to catch fish and shrimp …

What to do for a Day Cruise Trip ? Experience should try 

  • Kayaking in Halong Bay

It will so regret if travelling to Ha Long but not exploring the bay by Kayak boat. When you sit on a small Kayak boat , row the paddle in the blue water, enjoy the fascinated natural scenery , It is simply but really interesting .

Ha Long Bay was voted as one of the top 25 Kayak boating destinations in the world by National Geographic Adventures magazine.

  • Try to climb 

If you are adventurous sports followers , maybe the the thorny cliffs, the majestic corners of the mountains, cliffs, caves in Ha Long Bay will bring you a yearning to be conquered

  • Exploring the beautiful caves 

Halong is also famous for beautiful and unique caves . Each cave of Ha Long has an interesting name, calling up the curious to explore such as Thien Cung cave, Sung Sot cave, Luon cave, Dau Go cave, Hanh cave, …

  • Visit the fishing village on the Bay 

The coastal fishing villages in Ha Long are so peaceful , fresh . This is an interesting destination for tourists . The destinations for this experience are Vung Vieng fishing village, Cua Van fishing village, Ba Hang fishing village ..You can hire Nan boats at pier of Ha Long .

  • Attending a Cooking Class

Cooking class is an on-board activity that helps passengers not only taste delicious food but also learn more about Vietnamese culinary culture.

The chef will teach you how to cook the Vietnamese traditional food or how to carve different types of vegetables and fruits. An interesting activity for person who is keen on cooking and cuisine

  • Swim at Ha Long Bay beach

Nothing can match a refreshing swim in the emerald water of Ha Long Bay . The emerald water sea and refreshment of Ha Long Bay will help to ease all tiredness , stress and take visitor easy.

This is a good chance for you to enjoy the charming beauty of Ha Long Bay beaches , including Ti Top Beach, Tuan Chau Beach (Tuan Chau), Beach, Ngoc Vet Beach (Ngoc Vieu) and Bai Lan (Quan Lan) Beach …

  • Sunbathing in Ha Long Bay 

One of the most satisfied things in Halong Bay is sunbathing or swimming. Ha Long Bay has countless places for tourists who like to swim, sunbathe, snorkel, fish or kayak …

Basing on some experienced tourists , they said that the beautiful scenery of the cliffs on the bay became the ideal scene for many underwater activities.

  • Enjoy the beauty of the sunset 

After a long day full of physical activities on the beach like swimming and surfing, it’s time to sit quietly on the deck and see the sunset. This is really perfect for those who want to take professional photos in an extremely wonderful landscape. Observing the beautiful sunset on the beach gives visitors an unforgettable memory.

  • See Ha Long Bay from seaplane 

If you have experienced the scenery of Ha Long Bay on the yacht but still not satisfied , maybe you have not seen whole beautiful views of Halong Bay like in the movies , seeing Halong Bay from seaplane is the best choice.

Which is the Best route to choose?

Ha Long Bay Route

  • Departure: Ha Long International Port & Tuan Chau International Port
  • Attractions: Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung Cave, Trinh Nu Cave, Titop Island, Luon Cave, etc.
  • Time to visit the bay: 4 hours, 6 hours, 7 hours, 8-hour cruise
  • This route is the most popular day cruise itinerary when visiting Halong Bay. The tour starts from Halong Port or Tuan Chau Port. Following local authority, the route is named Route 1 and Route 2.
  • Route 1 (4-hour cruise): Habour > Stone Dog islet > Ba Hang > > Thien Cung cave
  • Route 2 (6-hour cruise): Habour > Stone Dog islet > Fighting Cocks islet > Sung Sot (Amazing) cave > Luon cave > Titov island

Lan Ha Bay Route

  • Departure: Tuan Chau International Port (Ha Long city) or Ben Beo (Beo Pier) in Cat Ba island
  • Attraction: Bright Cave, Ao Ech (kayaking), floating village
  • Experience: kayaking, visiting caves, swimming
  • Time to visit the bay: 5 hours, 7 hours, 8 hours

Bai Tu Long Bay Route

  • Departure: Ha Long International Port
  • Attractions: Thien Canh Son Cave, Vong Vieng fishing village, Cong Do
  • Itinerary: 6-hour cruise
  • The route is named Route 4 with the itinerary: Harbour > Cong Do area > Thien Canh Son cave > Vung Vieng fishing village.

Why choose Halong Bay One Day Cruises?

Ha Long Bay tourism in a day helps you to save the time and money . A tourism longer than a day will require a accommodation, a night on the boat, while with a 1 day tour, you can return to your place during the night or move to a less expensive place

  • If the budget is one of your concerns , traveling in a day is a great choice .
  • In addition , you will be able to experience a lot of activities, both on land, on the island and on the bay 
  • A one-day tour is the best solution which helps you have get the most impressive and fully experience at UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Of course , the top activities are boat tours on the bay , this can take you to destinations like Sung Sot Cave, Dau Go Cave, Thien Cung Cave, The Best Beauty of Titop Island, Tuan Chau Island, and peaceful at Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay …

The Best Ha Long Bay Day Cruise Tours

While overnight boat trips are the most popular tours in Halong Bay, there are shorter tours but being perfect for those who has tight schedules.

Tourists who want to have a strong feeling can choose seaplane which offers the best views of traditional fishing villages, islets and limestone columns jutting out of the clear blue water.

Suitable for a variety of budgets, interests and group sizes, read our guide to Ha Long Bay’s most popular tours:

Deluxe Halong Bay Day Trip 6 Hour Cruise

Highlights of Halong Bay Day Trip 6Hours Cruise

  • Cruising for a full 6 Hours around Halong Bay with a professional guide and crew
  • Enjoy Vietnamese traditional Lunch with seafood meals
  • Visit Titop Island, Trekking Titop Peak for taking photos with panoramic view of the bay.
  • Kayaking or taking a sampan boat around the gorgeous Luon Cave
  • Swimming on Beach
  • Discovering the mystical beauty and ancient history of Sung Sot Cave
  • Enjoy Cooking Class on cruise
  • All Included ( Only without drinks on Personal expenses )

Halong Bay Full Day Kayaking + Swimming

Seaplane Flight Over Ha Long Bay

Trips to visit Ha Long Bay by seaplane with 2 flight services include:

  • Itinerary flight: Hanoi – Ha Long

Cost: From VND 4,200,000 – VND 9,700,000

Starting point: Noi Bai International Airport, 109 counter, E hall, 1 terminal.

Ending point: Tuan Chau Port, T7 Villa , Tuan Chau port urban area, Ha Long city , Quang Ninh province.

Duration of a journey: 45 minutes. There are 2 flights daily from Hanoi to Ha Long at 9:30 am and 14:30 pm and 2 trips from Ha Long to Hanoi at 12:30 pm and 16:00 pm.

Fly for sightseeing Ha Long Bay

  • Cost: VND 1,500,000 – VND 2,870,000
  • Duration of a journey: 25 minutes.

Starting and ending points: Tuan Chau Port, T7 Villa , Tuan Chau port urban area, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province.

Route for places of interest such as : Ha Long city, Ti Top island, Ca Vung Vieng village, Ngu Ngoc Trai camp, Soi Sim Island, Yen Ngua Island , Dragon Eye Island, Hon Gai commune, Bai Tho mountain, Lu Huong Island , Trong Mai Island, Tuan Chau harbor, …

Private Full-Day Halong Bay Tour

Private tours to Halong Bay include a one-day private guide from Hanoi. You can visit wonderful caves, explore the majestic scenery of limestone mountains , and learn about the life of fishermen in the traditional fishing and pearl villages on the Bay.

These excursions can come with a higher price, but you can enjoy a personalized journey of Halong Bay, ensuring a unique holiday experience for you and your family.

What to eat in Ha Long Bay for A Day Tour?

Traveling to Ha Long, you will not only be tasted with all the fresh and delicious seafood dishes, but also the special delicacies that only Ha Long has. So What to eat , where to eat ?

  • Cha Muc (Grilled Chopped Squid)

Cha Muc is famous throughout the three regions and have been considered as a “ brand” food in Ha Long province . It is guaranteed to be freshed , so it always crispy and typical.

  • Grilled oyster

Fresh oysters washed and grilled over charcoal stove as soon as a customer orders , so it is always hot . You can suggest grilled oysters with onion fat or chili discharge to change the taste.

  • Fried Snail with soya sauce

With many types of snails and different recipe , You should not miss the chance to enjoy fried Snail with soya sauce. In addition, if you have time, you should enjoy grilled chopped squid white sticky rice , squid spring rolls , sea horseshoe crab , “nodding” cakes, sour or glutinous-rice wine soaked in Hoanh Bo, grilled spring rolls in Quang Yen , “ Ca Say “ in Tien Yen …

Tips to Choose a Best Halong Bay Day Trip 

Some people will always prepare and perform the trips for Vietnam tour as well as information about famous travel companies via the Internet before the estimated departure date. However, some cases still have problems with travel agencies fraud, or the quality of tour services is not as advertised.

To ensure that you find the good tour company specializing in organizing quality Halong a day tour. We recommend you some useful information, as well as the most accurate detailed advice for your next trip when you want to visit Ha Long Bay.

Book Online

If you have started to research travel booking websites and information sites, travel blogs, etc.,you will be very confused and very difficult because there are so many online travel companies offering Ha Long Bay tours.

  • You should read information in forums like TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet . You can read from others about the experience and know a list of reputable company names from these forum pages
  • On these forum pages , you can find the schedule yourself. Some customers may even bookmark or mention the websites of reputable travel companies they have experienced.Finally, when you have all the information you need and peace of mind , you can book a tour with that travel agency
  • On the Top 10 Travel Agency on the Tripadvisor website in Hanoi.The website must have accurate information such as address, Hotline, Email, representative and business license.
  • The website has permissions, as well as cancellation policies for customers.
  • The website must be committed to and contractual compensation terms, if they do not provide services such as selling to customers.

Booking in Hanoi 

It will definitely be easier if you search for a reputable travel agent in Hanoi through the Google. Then you can go directly to their office in Hanoi for direct advice.

Therefore, you will always receive the most useful information and the best prices.

Find out a ticket at harbor

This problem you can only do when you are in Ha Long city and want to go directly to the harbor for quick tickets. You will pay for 40USD / Pax or maybe more expensive if you buy tickets to visit Ha Long Bay in a day including boarding passes and scenic tickets.

Duration: there are 4-hour, 6-hour, and 8-hour tours, so you should consider carefully since each tour offers different activities. In our opinion, 6-hour tour will be the most reasonable to experience a day tour on the bay. Our goal is to consult on a tour that is not only reasonably priced but also of excellent quality and gives you a memorable experience.

  • One day trip to Halong Bay by Halong Cruise may leave much to be desired. But if you have no other choice than to visit it in just one day, this is our guide to try and help you find the best experience you can get.
  • Our objective will be to find a tour with not only reasonable price but also has great quality.

If finding a tour is too much of a chore for you, just consider the Hanoi Explore Travel. It covers all the expenses and also includes pick up. For a one day tour with all the important sites covered, you won’t find a better offer.

 

Unique beauty of Hang Pagoda in Tra Vinh

As a province with many ethnic Khmer people living, Trà Vinh Province has a distinct beauty expressed through its unique architectural works.

Among the famous landscapes and monuments in the province, Hang Pagoda is a must-visit destination.

The pagoda, also called Kompông Chrây Pagoda, was established in 1637. It is 5km from Trà Vinh Town.

The 2ha-pagoda is completely covered in green forest.

It is called Hang (Cave) Pagoda because the western side gate, facing National Highway 54, is built like a system of three caves. The middle gate is a large cave, and the two sides are small caves. All three gates are solidly built with 12m thick walls, creating the feeling of standing in the gate like a cave.

The arched pagoda gate is an artistic architectural work that distinguishes Hang Pagoda from the rest of the Khmer pagodas in the province. It contains a deeply religious and historical value.

The cave gate is a ‘relic’ showing that Trà Vinh Khmer Theravada Buddhism has a certain inheritance of Brahminism because, in the old days, Brahmin monks often lived quietly in dark and deserted caves.

There are rows of ancient trees at the pagoda’s gate. — Photo thamhiemmekong.com
The main hall of the pagoda was built on high ground, with many steps leading up, decorated with many patterns and motifs. The roof of the main hall is composed of many overlapping layers, on top of which is a majestic tower.

Inside the main hall are two rows of tall columns, and in the middle of the hall is the altar of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Opposite the main hall is a population of 12 animals arranged in an arc shaped like a boat.

Like other Khmer pagodas, Hang Pagoda is not only a place of worship and belief but also a place of learning, moral education, and preservation of the traditional art and culture of the Khmer people.

In the pagoda, there is a fairly large school and about 20 small stilt houses for the Khmer in the area to come to pray and practice here.

The main hall of Hang Pagoda. — Photo thamhiemmekong.com
The properties of Hang Pagoda cover an area of about 7ha. It is really a primaeval forest with many endemic plant species such as bamboo, rare wood trees. They are crammed into many different layers, which are very valuable in terms of the biosphere and are a natural source of genes for future generations.

Another attraction of this pagoda to visitors is the wood carving workshop that has been operating for nearly 30 years, with many products that are famous in the Vietnamese fine art market and a strictly protected “bird sanctuary”, home to many different kinds of birds and bats.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the forest on the properties of Hang Pagoda has been inhabited by many bats and crows. At night they go out to look for food. During the day, they hang from the branches of the trees.

However, after that, not many bats were left for unknown reasons.

From the 1990s onwards, the forest of Hang Pagoda has become home to many kinds of birds. The pagoda sets out very strict regulations on protection of birds and trees in the forest, creating a peaceful natural environment for flocks of birds to live. There are nearly tens of thousands of birds of all kinds. Most are white storks, ivory storks, red-necked storks and herons.

Hang Pagoda is home to many birds and bats. — Photo huongsacmientay.com
Loved and protected by people, more and more birds have arrived in the pagoda. They make their nests even in the newly planted bonsai area in front of the main hall and the monks’ house.

Visiting Hang Pagoda, visitors will have the opportunity to witness the monks of the wood-carving workshop to create unique artworks from tree roots.

Wood-carving artists at work at Hang Pagoda. — Photo thamhiemmekong.com
During nearly 30 years of operation, the art wood-carving workshop has produced thousands of works of different sizes. All works from the workshop are imbued with the traditional visual arts of the Khmer ethnics.

After visiting the workshop, tourists stroll around the pagoda. In the morning, the birds soar to the sky, spreading to find food in the fields and rivers nearby, creating a noisy atmosphere for the whole forest.

Trà Vinh boasts about 150 pagodas of the Khmer and nearly 60 pagodas of other ethnic groups.

Visitors feel like they are lost in the “Land of Buddha”, being immersed in the unique spiritual and cultural space of the Khmer with unique ancient architecture of their pagodas.

For tourists who love to learn about spiritual culture, Trà Vinh is the ideal choice. VNS

Unique beauty of Hang Pagoda in Tra Vinh

As a province with many ethnic Khmer people living, Trà Vinh Province has a distinct beauty expressed through its unique architectural works.

Among the famous landscapes and monuments in the province, Hang Pagoda is a must-visit destination.

The pagoda, also called Kompông Chrây Pagoda, was established in 1637. It is 5km from Trà Vinh Town.

The 2ha-pagoda is completely covered in green forest.

It is called Hang (Cave) Pagoda because the western side gate, facing National Highway 54, is built like a system of three caves. The middle gate is a large cave, and the two sides are small caves. All three gates are solidly built with 12m thick walls, creating the feeling of standing in the gate like a cave.

The arched pagoda gate is an artistic architectural work that distinguishes Hang Pagoda from the rest of the Khmer pagodas in the province. It contains a deeply religious and historical value.

The cave gate is a ‘relic’ showing that Trà Vinh Khmer Theravada Buddhism has a certain inheritance of Brahminism because, in the old days, Brahmin monks often lived quietly in dark and deserted caves.

There are rows of ancient trees at the pagoda’s gate. — Photo thamhiemmekong.com
The main hall of the pagoda was built on high ground, with many steps leading up, decorated with many patterns and motifs. The roof of the main hall is composed of many overlapping layers, on top of which is a majestic tower.

Inside the main hall are two rows of tall columns, and in the middle of the hall is the altar of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Opposite the main hall is a population of 12 animals arranged in an arc shaped like a boat.

Like other Khmer pagodas, Hang Pagoda is not only a place of worship and belief but also a place of learning, moral education, and preservation of the traditional art and culture of the Khmer people.

In the pagoda, there is a fairly large school and about 20 small stilt houses for the Khmer in the area to come to pray and practice here.

The main hall of Hang Pagoda. — Photo thamhiemmekong.com
The properties of Hang Pagoda cover an area of about 7ha. It is really a primaeval forest with many endemic plant species such as bamboo, rare wood trees. They are crammed into many different layers, which are very valuable in terms of the biosphere and are a natural source of genes for future generations.

Another attraction of this pagoda to visitors is the wood carving workshop that has been operating for nearly 30 years, with many products that are famous in the Vietnamese fine art market and a strictly protected “bird sanctuary”, home to many different kinds of birds and bats.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the forest on the properties of Hang Pagoda has been inhabited by many bats and crows. At night they go out to look for food. During the day, they hang from the branches of the trees.

However, after that, not many bats were left for unknown reasons.

From the 1990s onwards, the forest of Hang Pagoda has become home to many kinds of birds. The pagoda sets out very strict regulations on protection of birds and trees in the forest, creating a peaceful natural environment for flocks of birds to live. There are nearly tens of thousands of birds of all kinds. Most are white storks, ivory storks, red-necked storks and herons.

Hang Pagoda is home to many birds and bats. — Photo huongsacmientay.com
Loved and protected by people, more and more birds have arrived in the pagoda. They make their nests even in the newly planted bonsai area in front of the main hall and the monks’ house.

Visiting Hang Pagoda, visitors will have the opportunity to witness the monks of the wood-carving workshop to create unique artworks from tree roots.

Wood-carving artists at work at Hang Pagoda. — Photo thamhiemmekong.com
During nearly 30 years of operation, the art wood-carving workshop has produced thousands of works of different sizes. All works from the workshop are imbued with the traditional visual arts of the Khmer ethnics.

After visiting the workshop, tourists stroll around the pagoda. In the morning, the birds soar to the sky, spreading to find food in the fields and rivers nearby, creating a noisy atmosphere for the whole forest.

Trà Vinh boasts about 150 pagodas of the Khmer and nearly 60 pagodas of other ethnic groups.

Visitors feel like they are lost in the “Land of Buddha”, being immersed in the unique spiritual and cultural space of the Khmer with unique ancient architecture of their pagodas.

For tourists who love to learn about spiritual culture, Trà Vinh is the ideal choice. VNS

Top 10 Christmas markets in Europe

Head to one of these markets in the run-up to Christmas and experience all the delights the season has to offer
A good Christmas market should have an atmosphere that gets you into the Christmas spirit right away, and these are our recommendations for 2022.

1. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
We choose the lesser-known Rothenburg ob der Tauber over the popular markets in Cologne or Dresden because Rothenburg’s medieval architecture and cobblestone lanes, lit by vintage street lamps and shimmering fairy lights, are the epitome of festive magic. And it fits with our preference to keep things nice and cosy on this adventure.

Spend a morning at the German National Christmas Museum, which charts the history and variety of rare Christmas decorations. Then pop next door to Käthe Wohlfahrt, the “mother of all Christmas stores”. In the evening, visit the cute stalls on the main square and try crispy fried Bratwürste, savoury Flammkuchen (German pizza) and well-seasoned gingerbread Lebkuchen, all washed down by warm mulled Glühwein.

From 25 November to 23 December 2022

2. Copenhagen, Denmark
If your Christmas market fantasies must include light projections swaying to the soundtrack of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, head to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen to experience that perfect Nordic Christmas atmosphere.

Apart from lovely Christmas stalls selling a great number of items, there is also Santa and his reindeer, along with illuminations and fireworks to keep everyone in your family occupied.

From 19 November to 31 December 2022

3. Vienna, Austria
Austrians can trace the history of their Christmas markets back to 1298 when King Albert I of Germany permitted the people of Vienna to hold a Krippenmarkt (December market). The event progressed over time and Vienna now has around 20 Christmas markets.

While you could try visiting them all, you definitely cannot miss the centrepiece – the Viennese Dream Christmas Market on Rathausplatz, set against the magnificent backdrop of the City Hall. With an emphasis on sustainability, you won’t find many stalls selling cheap plastic toys. Instead, you can expect about 100 booths offering high-quality handicrafts and culinary treats.

From 19 November to 26 December 2022

4. Helsinki, Finland
As you might expect, Father Christmas’ home country celebrates the season with great enthusiasm, and there is a very high chance it will be done under a layer of snow. Over 100 wooden huts on Senate Square, in the city centre, sell handcrafted goods at surprisingly reasonable prices. Fortify yourself with the Finnish version of mulled wine, Glögi, which often comes with a sprinkle of almonds and raisins, plus a dash of vodka. Apart from the Christmas market, the Christmas illuminations along Aleksanterinkatu – the official Christmas street – are so Instagram-worthy that your pictures may rank up many likes.

From 1 December to 22 December 2022

5. Valkenburg, Netherlands
This is our favourite off-beat choice.

Valkenburg, a small town in southern Netherlands, has two Christmas caves where visitors can wander below the surface and check out beautifully-decorated stalls, safely sheltered from the elements. The first cave is Fluweelengrot (the velvet cave); it’s underneath the ruined castle of Valkenburg and has about 50 stands. The second one is Gemeentegrot (the municipal cave), where its seemingly endless maze is lined with Christmas stalls and decorations.

From 18 November to 30 December 2022 (but closed on Christmas Day)

6. Tallinn, Estonia
Estonians would gladly tell visitors that they erected the first public Christmas tree on Tallinn’s Town Hall Square in 1441. We don’t know if the story is true, but we do know that the people of Tallinn now put up a magnificent Christmas tree in the middle of the square every year, and surrounding the tree are many huts selling festive goods. For adventurous foodies, seize the chance to try verivorst (blood sausage), sült (savoury jelly), and hapukapsas (sauerkraut).

Before you go, check out our Tallinn travel guide.

From 25 November 2022 to 8 January 2023

7. Bolzano, Italy
From 1813 to 1918, Bolzano, a small city in the South Tyrol province of north Italy, belonged to the Austrian Empire. After being acquired by Italy, the size of its German-speaking community has shrunk but their love for Christmas remains so strong that Bolzano is now home to one of the largest Christmas markets in Italy.

The setting is magical. In the weeks leading to Christmas, the picturesque Piazza Walther and its surrounding areas are transformed into a winter wonderland complete with cute illuminated wooden huts selling the best of South Tyrolean handicrafts and fantastic local wines. Yes, if you’re into wine, don’t leave Bolzano without trying its Lagrein and St Magdalener wines.

From 24 November 2022 to 5 January 2023

8. Bath, England
Join an impressive throng of visitors on pretty Georgian streets surrounding Bath Abbey in Bath’s city centre this festive season. The Bath Christmas Market champions traditional British products, including handblown baubles, local gins, and organic cheeses.

After an evening of great food and drink, continue the festive fun at Bath on Ice, an ice skating rink, and Glow Golf, a miniature golf course decorated with fairy lights.

From 24 November to 11 December 2022

9. Bratislava, Slovakia
Immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit in Bratislava, the lively capital of Slovakia. The city’s Main Square is the epicentre of pre-Christmas celebrations, with hundreds of stalls selling beautifully-crafted Slovak gifts and ornaments, as well as local delicacies.

In addition, you will also find Christmas-themed programs at Franciscan Square, Primate’s Square, and Klarisky Concert Hall; all are within walking distance from the Main Square.

From 24 November to 22 December 2022

10. Seville, Spain
If you like to do your Christmas shopping in what many Europeans would call warm and pleasant weather, then Saville, with an average daytime high of 17°C (63°F) in December, should be at the top of your list.

Like many European cities, Seville has a few Christmas markets for you to shop around. Mercado Navideño de Artesanía de Sevilla (Seville Christmas Craft Fair), on Plaza Nueva, is arguably the best market for handcrafted goods, while Feria del Belén (Nativity Scene Fair), on La Avenida de la Constitución, is the place to buy figurines and background materials for nativity scenes.

Navideño de Artesanía is from 15 December 2022 to 5 January 2023
Feria del Belén is from 5 November to 23 December 2022

This post was updated on 18 November 2022

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at:
Holiday on a budget: 21 great travel tips
Getting high: 13 of the best adrenaline activities
The 12 weird but wonderful wellness retreats

Top 10 Christmas markets in Europe

Head to one of these markets in the run-up to Christmas and experience all the delights the season has to offer
A good Christmas market should have an atmosphere that gets you into the Christmas spirit right away, and these are our recommendations for 2022.

1. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
We choose the lesser-known Rothenburg ob der Tauber over the popular markets in Cologne or Dresden because Rothenburg’s medieval architecture and cobblestone lanes, lit by vintage street lamps and shimmering fairy lights, are the epitome of festive magic. And it fits with our preference to keep things nice and cosy on this adventure.

Spend a morning at the German National Christmas Museum, which charts the history and variety of rare Christmas decorations. Then pop next door to Käthe Wohlfahrt, the “mother of all Christmas stores”. In the evening, visit the cute stalls on the main square and try crispy fried Bratwürste, savoury Flammkuchen (German pizza) and well-seasoned gingerbread Lebkuchen, all washed down by warm mulled Glühwein.

From 25 November to 23 December 2022

2. Copenhagen, Denmark
If your Christmas market fantasies must include light projections swaying to the soundtrack of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, head to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen to experience that perfect Nordic Christmas atmosphere.

Apart from lovely Christmas stalls selling a great number of items, there is also Santa and his reindeer, along with illuminations and fireworks to keep everyone in your family occupied.

From 19 November to 31 December 2022

3. Vienna, Austria
Austrians can trace the history of their Christmas markets back to 1298 when King Albert I of Germany permitted the people of Vienna to hold a Krippenmarkt (December market). The event progressed over time and Vienna now has around 20 Christmas markets.

While you could try visiting them all, you definitely cannot miss the centrepiece – the Viennese Dream Christmas Market on Rathausplatz, set against the magnificent backdrop of the City Hall. With an emphasis on sustainability, you won’t find many stalls selling cheap plastic toys. Instead, you can expect about 100 booths offering high-quality handicrafts and culinary treats.

From 19 November to 26 December 2022

4. Helsinki, Finland
As you might expect, Father Christmas’ home country celebrates the season with great enthusiasm, and there is a very high chance it will be done under a layer of snow. Over 100 wooden huts on Senate Square, in the city centre, sell handcrafted goods at surprisingly reasonable prices. Fortify yourself with the Finnish version of mulled wine, Glögi, which often comes with a sprinkle of almonds and raisins, plus a dash of vodka. Apart from the Christmas market, the Christmas illuminations along Aleksanterinkatu – the official Christmas street – are so Instagram-worthy that your pictures may rank up many likes.

From 1 December to 22 December 2022

5. Valkenburg, Netherlands
This is our favourite off-beat choice.

Valkenburg, a small town in southern Netherlands, has two Christmas caves where visitors can wander below the surface and check out beautifully-decorated stalls, safely sheltered from the elements. The first cave is Fluweelengrot (the velvet cave); it’s underneath the ruined castle of Valkenburg and has about 50 stands. The second one is Gemeentegrot (the municipal cave), where its seemingly endless maze is lined with Christmas stalls and decorations.

From 18 November to 30 December 2022 (but closed on Christmas Day)

6. Tallinn, Estonia
Estonians would gladly tell visitors that they erected the first public Christmas tree on Tallinn’s Town Hall Square in 1441. We don’t know if the story is true, but we do know that the people of Tallinn now put up a magnificent Christmas tree in the middle of the square every year, and surrounding the tree are many huts selling festive goods. For adventurous foodies, seize the chance to try verivorst (blood sausage), sült (savoury jelly), and hapukapsas (sauerkraut).

Before you go, check out our Tallinn travel guide.

From 25 November 2022 to 8 January 2023

7. Bolzano, Italy
From 1813 to 1918, Bolzano, a small city in the South Tyrol province of north Italy, belonged to the Austrian Empire. After being acquired by Italy, the size of its German-speaking community has shrunk but their love for Christmas remains so strong that Bolzano is now home to one of the largest Christmas markets in Italy.

The setting is magical. In the weeks leading to Christmas, the picturesque Piazza Walther and its surrounding areas are transformed into a winter wonderland complete with cute illuminated wooden huts selling the best of South Tyrolean handicrafts and fantastic local wines. Yes, if you’re into wine, don’t leave Bolzano without trying its Lagrein and St Magdalener wines.

From 24 November 2022 to 5 January 2023

8. Bath, England
Join an impressive throng of visitors on pretty Georgian streets surrounding Bath Abbey in Bath’s city centre this festive season. The Bath Christmas Market champions traditional British products, including handblown baubles, local gins, and organic cheeses.

After an evening of great food and drink, continue the festive fun at Bath on Ice, an ice skating rink, and Glow Golf, a miniature golf course decorated with fairy lights.

From 24 November to 11 December 2022

9. Bratislava, Slovakia
Immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit in Bratislava, the lively capital of Slovakia. The city’s Main Square is the epicentre of pre-Christmas celebrations, with hundreds of stalls selling beautifully-crafted Slovak gifts and ornaments, as well as local delicacies.

In addition, you will also find Christmas-themed programs at Franciscan Square, Primate’s Square, and Klarisky Concert Hall; all are within walking distance from the Main Square.

From 24 November to 22 December 2022

10. Seville, Spain
If you like to do your Christmas shopping in what many Europeans would call warm and pleasant weather, then Saville, with an average daytime high of 17°C (63°F) in December, should be at the top of your list.

Like many European cities, Seville has a few Christmas markets for you to shop around. Mercado Navideño de Artesanía de Sevilla (Seville Christmas Craft Fair), on Plaza Nueva, is arguably the best market for handcrafted goods, while Feria del Belén (Nativity Scene Fair), on La Avenida de la Constitución, is the place to buy figurines and background materials for nativity scenes.

Navideño de Artesanía is from 15 December 2022 to 5 January 2023
Feria del Belén is from 5 November to 23 December 2022

This post was updated on 18 November 2022

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at:
Holiday on a budget: 21 great travel tips
Getting high: 13 of the best adrenaline activities
The 12 weird but wonderful wellness retreats

Top 10 Christmas markets in Europe

Head to one of these markets in the run-up to Christmas and experience all the delights the season has to offer
A good Christmas market should have an atmosphere that gets you into the Christmas spirit right away, and these are our recommendations for 2022.

1. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
We choose the lesser-known Rothenburg ob der Tauber over the popular markets in Cologne or Dresden because Rothenburg’s medieval architecture and cobblestone lanes, lit by vintage street lamps and shimmering fairy lights, are the epitome of festive magic. And it fits with our preference to keep things nice and cosy on this adventure.

Spend a morning at the German National Christmas Museum, which charts the history and variety of rare Christmas decorations. Then pop next door to Käthe Wohlfahrt, the “mother of all Christmas stores”. In the evening, visit the cute stalls on the main square and try crispy fried Bratwürste, savoury Flammkuchen (German pizza) and well-seasoned gingerbread Lebkuchen, all washed down by warm mulled Glühwein.

From 25 November to 23 December 2022

2. Copenhagen, Denmark
If your Christmas market fantasies must include light projections swaying to the soundtrack of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, head to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen to experience that perfect Nordic Christmas atmosphere.

Apart from lovely Christmas stalls selling a great number of items, there is also Santa and his reindeer, along with illuminations and fireworks to keep everyone in your family occupied.

From 19 November to 31 December 2022

3. Vienna, Austria
Austrians can trace the history of their Christmas markets back to 1298 when King Albert I of Germany permitted the people of Vienna to hold a Krippenmarkt (December market). The event progressed over time and Vienna now has around 20 Christmas markets.

While you could try visiting them all, you definitely cannot miss the centrepiece – the Viennese Dream Christmas Market on Rathausplatz, set against the magnificent backdrop of the City Hall. With an emphasis on sustainability, you won’t find many stalls selling cheap plastic toys. Instead, you can expect about 100 booths offering high-quality handicrafts and culinary treats.

From 19 November to 26 December 2022

4. Helsinki, Finland
As you might expect, Father Christmas’ home country celebrates the season with great enthusiasm, and there is a very high chance it will be done under a layer of snow. Over 100 wooden huts on Senate Square, in the city centre, sell handcrafted goods at surprisingly reasonable prices. Fortify yourself with the Finnish version of mulled wine, Glögi, which often comes with a sprinkle of almonds and raisins, plus a dash of vodka. Apart from the Christmas market, the Christmas illuminations along Aleksanterinkatu – the official Christmas street – are so Instagram-worthy that your pictures may rank up many likes.

From 1 December to 22 December 2022

5. Valkenburg, Netherlands
This is our favourite off-beat choice.

Valkenburg, a small town in southern Netherlands, has two Christmas caves where visitors can wander below the surface and check out beautifully-decorated stalls, safely sheltered from the elements. The first cave is Fluweelengrot (the velvet cave); it’s underneath the ruined castle of Valkenburg and has about 50 stands. The second one is Gemeentegrot (the municipal cave), where its seemingly endless maze is lined with Christmas stalls and decorations.

From 18 November to 30 December 2022 (but closed on Christmas Day)

6. Tallinn, Estonia
Estonians would gladly tell visitors that they erected the first public Christmas tree on Tallinn’s Town Hall Square in 1441. We don’t know if the story is true, but we do know that the people of Tallinn now put up a magnificent Christmas tree in the middle of the square every year, and surrounding the tree are many huts selling festive goods. For adventurous foodies, seize the chance to try verivorst (blood sausage), sült (savoury jelly), and hapukapsas (sauerkraut).

Before you go, check out our Tallinn travel guide.

From 25 November 2022 to 8 January 2023

7. Bolzano, Italy
From 1813 to 1918, Bolzano, a small city in the South Tyrol province of north Italy, belonged to the Austrian Empire. After being acquired by Italy, the size of its German-speaking community has shrunk but their love for Christmas remains so strong that Bolzano is now home to one of the largest Christmas markets in Italy.

The setting is magical. In the weeks leading to Christmas, the picturesque Piazza Walther and its surrounding areas are transformed into a winter wonderland complete with cute illuminated wooden huts selling the best of South Tyrolean handicrafts and fantastic local wines. Yes, if you’re into wine, don’t leave Bolzano without trying its Lagrein and St Magdalener wines.

From 24 November 2022 to 5 January 2023

8. Bath, England
Join an impressive throng of visitors on pretty Georgian streets surrounding Bath Abbey in Bath’s city centre this festive season. The Bath Christmas Market champions traditional British products, including handblown baubles, local gins, and organic cheeses.

After an evening of great food and drink, continue the festive fun at Bath on Ice, an ice skating rink, and Glow Golf, a miniature golf course decorated with fairy lights.

From 24 November to 11 December 2022

9. Bratislava, Slovakia
Immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit in Bratislava, the lively capital of Slovakia. The city’s Main Square is the epicentre of pre-Christmas celebrations, with hundreds of stalls selling beautifully-crafted Slovak gifts and ornaments, as well as local delicacies.

In addition, you will also find Christmas-themed programs at Franciscan Square, Primate’s Square, and Klarisky Concert Hall; all are within walking distance from the Main Square.

From 24 November to 22 December 2022

10. Seville, Spain
If you like to do your Christmas shopping in what many Europeans would call warm and pleasant weather, then Saville, with an average daytime high of 17°C (63°F) in December, should be at the top of your list.

Like many European cities, Seville has a few Christmas markets for you to shop around. Mercado Navideño de Artesanía de Sevilla (Seville Christmas Craft Fair), on Plaza Nueva, is arguably the best market for handcrafted goods, while Feria del Belén (Nativity Scene Fair), on La Avenida de la Constitución, is the place to buy figurines and background materials for nativity scenes.

Navideño de Artesanía is from 15 December 2022 to 5 January 2023
Feria del Belén is from 5 November to 23 December 2022

This post was updated on 18 November 2022

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at:
Holiday on a budget: 21 great travel tips
Getting high: 13 of the best adrenaline activities
The 12 weird but wonderful wellness retreats